Distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions in Colorado, leading to hundreds of serious car accidents every day. Distractions come in many forms, and we have identified 5 common types of distracted drivers in Colorado:
The Phone Addict
In today’s world, many people insist on communicating 24/7/365. If this driver’s boss sends a question, or their eight-year-old wonders when they will be picked up at school, the phone addict is going to read those messages and reply, even though doing so puts themselves and other drivers at risk of a serious accident. Some seriously addicted cell phone users might even be watching videos or scrolling through Facebook or Twitter while driving. You will see this driver going down the road with one hand on the wheel and the other hand holding a cell phone, eyes on the phone and not on the road. They are likely to be driving either too slow or too fast, and they may cross the centerline or drift onto the shoulder as they frantically type or scroll with their thumb. In the worst-case scenario, this driver may be so absorbed in their screen that they blow through a stop sign or a red light, endangering everyone in that intersection.
The Nature Gawker
Colorado is known for its natural beauty, and everyone likes to look at the majestic mountains, the pristine waters, and the green, green forests as they drive through our state. Some drivers, however, become so entranced by natural beauty or by a wild animal they have never seen before that they forget to watch the road while they are driving. Staring at the deer that has wandered up close to the road can endanger every driver and passenger on the road. This driver can usually be identified by out-of-state plates, tons of outdoor gear obstructing their view out the back window, and a finger frantically pointing out the window at whatever natural wonder they happen to be passing.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This driver can’t be bothered to delay their arrival by stopping and sitting down at a restaurant or picnic table to eat, so they are flying down the road at full speed while managing a burger, fries, and a drink, or worse, yet, a taco. Some drivers even try to eat foods that require a fork or spoon while driving. They may not keep their hands on the wheel at all times, and a dropped french fry can send them swerving all over the road as they bend down to retrieve it from the floor.
The Music Lover
Some drivers cannot be in the car without music playing, and music in itself is not likely to be too much of a distraction. When the driver decides to change the station, skip a song on a playlist, or search for the tune they were thinking of earlier in the day, their attention can wander from the road, endangering themselves and others.
The Stressed-Out Parent
It can be difficult to pay full attention to driving with a two-year-old screaming in the back seat. It’s a regular occurrence to see a mom or dad trying to drive while reaching into the back seat with one hand to hand out snacks or toys. You can recognize this driver by the desperation in their eyes and the “Baby on Board” sticker on their back window.
While we have presented a rather lighthearted view of 5 types of distracted drivers in Colorado, distracted driving is no joke. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 2020 saw 10,166 crashes involving a Colorado distracted driver, resulting in 1,476 injuries and 68 deaths.
While your cell phone, sightseeing, your dinner, music, or your child’s discomfort might seem extremely important in the moment, nothing is more important than giving your full attention to the road while driving. Your life and the lives of others depend on it.